Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Quotable DiDio

All DiDio quotes taken from an 2003 interview he did with Newsarama.

"It's not about the stunt, it's the characters!"
(except for Infinite Crisis, 52, Countdown, Final Crisis, Batman RIP, etc.)

"Veteran talent—that's a sensitive issue for me, personally...there's always a place for these creators at DC."
(ask Shooter, Dixon, etc.)

"There's something very important about continuity of talent."
(except when you are pulling and slotting in new creative teams every several issues like what happened with Flash, Supergirl, Birds of Prey, Robin, Final Crisis, etc.)

"After my first two or three months here, I realized that only one thing matters—content. If the content is good, people will find it. And if the content is bad, it won't matter who's on the cover, or what creators or involved—the book will still tank."
(see: Countdown)

"Don't stick with a faded idea so long that you wear everyone down and give a bad feeling about it. "
(except if it's your awful pet project that is forced to go on for 52 weekly issues)

"If we're trying to redefine the medium, we have to create new product, though; we can't just rehash what we did twenty years ago."
(except endless Crisis rehashes, Kingdom Come rehashes, and a LOTSH book that promises to bring us back to those halcyon days in the 1960s)

"Because it's such a competitive market, if you have writers who have unique voices, I'd like them to express that unique voice only with DC."
(as long as they don't mind being dictated to, have their stories rewritten, and treated like dishwashers)

"The idea for next year is that we're staying away from massive crossovers; it goes back to the teams. The right artist, the right writer— give them the opportunity to get a year's run on these characters uninterrupted..."
(unless everybody's stories are shoehorned and/or changed at the last minute to serve a rambling crossover that was poorly planned and executed)

"We have so much to offer that there's no reason for talented people to go somewhere else. "
(such as both an ulcer AND the medical insurance to pay for its treatment)

"One of the things we have to instill when we talk to editors and creators is that no one person is to blame if a book doesn't click."

"Creators should be coming here first with any of their ideas."
(ask Grant for more details)

"First off, we have to be excited about what we're doing. Then, if we're excited, you should be excited if we communicate our excitement to you. "
(that equation sounds just about right)

"The best creator to lock up with exclusives is the married one..."
(...because then of course you can invite the whole family to watch the Thanksgiving Parade from the DC offices and it is just so awesome!!!!)

"I like to treat everyone professionally..."
(O RLY?)

"What the success of Batman does, at least from inside our building, is that it creates a level of understanding and hope; it proves that, if we get all the pieces in place, we can do wonders. "
(and if that doesn't work, kill him off)

"I believe that DC will be number one consistently by the end of next year."
(and yet with all of Time Warner's money and influence, DC still can't beat Marvel in the market share for monthlies. )

"We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard..."
(and if that doesn't work, you can just cover it up and blacklist other people)

"I had a chance to hear an incredible amount of history about DC Comics..."
(oh, I'm sure you did)

"Unless you want to do Spider-Man or X-Men, DC offers you so much more, so many more opportunities."
(Or want to do Captain America, or Hulk, or Iron Man, or Avengers, or Daredevil, or Iron Fist, or...)

"One of the challenges we put to every editor is this: if this book was being launched today, would this the best team we could get on the book?"
(except when you pissed everybody else off and have to scramble with last-minute assignments)

"Some things have been difficult to measure, but I do believe that my presence has been an impact."
(I believe the term is "Deep Impact")

and, from the comments section:

"I like this man a lot."
--Graeme McMillan
(we all did in the beginning, Graeme -- we all did.)



    I particularly like your comments which put his into historical perspective. Sadly, DC will continue "business as usual".

  2. Basically sounds like any of Quesada's countless early interviews where everything he once said has become moot by today.

  3. I like your last addage to the last quote. This should be a pamphlet distributed freely like those tiny Bibles.

  4. Valid points...still...came off as a little harsh.

    Got any "Quotable Quesada?

  5. BWAHAHAHAHA!!! You are hysterical. :)

  6. Anonymous5:15 PM

    Seconded, I want my Quotable Quesada.

  7. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Add Devin Grayson to the list of blacklisted writers.
    Fuck, I miss her so much. Stories that were emotionally driven, where characters always acted in character, whose ideas made sense from their perspective but of course not from their boyfriend/girlfriend, Batman being a legitimately nice person long before DC editorial made it necessary. She was just aces in my books. And you should be reading my books, they're awesome.

  8. I said a couple of years back that DiDio had to go before he completely ruined DC, and that whatever damage he caused ultimately lies at Levitz' feet. At this point, who'd want that job other than maybe that idiot Millar?

  9. While I agree with you alot of the time (and even, I suppose with much of this) I have to say that I still think Didio will make a comeback. I know how you feel about him, and I appreciate that. But in conversations I've had with him at Heroes Con, I can tell he genuinely loves comic books and the characters he is currently caretaker of.

    After 52 the man looked like a genius. Granted, the talent that produced the series gets the credit, but still it was a gutsy move on editorial's part and it paid off.

    The disappointments of One Year Later and Countdown kinda sucked all the momentum out of that event and it seems as though it's been downhill ever since.

    Trinity, however, has been a very fun read, capturing the magic and fantastic fancy that makes the DCU a bigger universe than Marvel.

    There are a lot of things wrong at DC. I understand the issues you have with the company and would really like to see them actively pursue reform on those issues. But as a comic book fan since 1964, I have to say that DC is currently much more fun to read than Marvel. The Marvel U. has lost it's "real-world" flavor in favor of a apocalyptic setting which I don't like at all. And, yes, I know that Final Crisis is apparently dragging the DCU down that same slipper slope, but that seems to happen every few years when fans clamor for the DC heroes to be "darker" like the Marvel heroes. Everyone remembers Knightfall and the Death of Superman.

    But I think Didio knows that dark is not the DCU. There are some shadowy corners, to be sure, but the overall flavor of the world that has grown up around Superman and Wonder Woman has always been more of a struggling utopia than an encroaching gloom.

    I think Didio will come around. I think he will pursue talent that will tell stories true to the unique, iconic nature of the DC heroes.

    I'll take him as EIC of the characters I love any day over J.Q.

  10. Anonymous6:04 PM

    Fun stuff.

    And via your blog I went to Lord Shazam's where he quotes Didio saying "Barry Allen will not come back"... when Didio must have known he was going to, if Final Crisis plotting was done the way DC said it was. Hurm.

  11. "Creators should be coming here first with any of their ideas."
    (ask Grant for more details)

    Is this a diss on Grant? Honest question.

  12. Didio has lately been a terrible manager - I think we can all agree on that.

    But Batman hasn't been killed, as Morrison has stated over and over. And IMO Final Crisis has been good overall, though some editing would have gone a long way.

  13. --Got any "Quotable Quesada?--

    Wow, you must not read this blog.

  14. See, for me, the "faded idea" book would be Titans.

    Other than that, gee, bullshit from an entertainment executive. I am Jack's utter lack of surprise.

  15. One of the best tactics is to use someone's own words to damn them. The Daily Show does it with video and Jon Stewart's reactions. I like your version too!

  16. DC is such a mess right now. As obnoxious as the Marvel crossover-itis is, DC is just not cohesive.

    Except for Secret Six. That book is the bee's knees.

  17. Quesada's appeared on the Colbert Report three times now. He's untouchable.

  18. Anonymous1:25 PM

    There's a thought, Hysan - if DC was doing some of the same stuff but in a more cohesive way (i.e. Countdown sucks but at least it doesn't clash with the stuff it ties into), would we all be less fed up?

  19. --Basically sounds like any of Quesada's countless early interviews where everything he once said has become moot by today.--

    Dammit, beat me to it.

  20. "Veteran talent—that's a sensitive issue for me, personally...there's always a place for these creators at DC."
    (ask Shooter, Dixon, etc.)

    Is that really fair? I'd argue that this is one area where Didio's regime HAS walked the talk.

    Yes, Shooter and Dixon left/were pushed out, but when was the last time they got a legitimate shot at a monthly over at Marvel?

    As for DC in recent years? Marv Wolfman's written a few things here and there, and he's got a new Vigilante miniseries coming out (I know, first example's not exactly fair — after the Blade lawsuit, I'm guessing Marvel's out of the question, sadly); Jerry Ordway's been pencilling pretty regularly; Dan Jurgens is working on Booster Gold; Doug Moench did a Batman thing with Kelley Jones not too long ago; John Ostrander was brought back to write Suicide Squad; Steve Gerber was writing Dr. Fate at the time of his unfortunate death; Denny O'Neil's doing a stint on the Batman titles; Joe Kubert just finished up a Tor miniseries, and on and on.

    Not all of these efforts may have set the sales charts on fire for whatever reason, but look at who's doing the books, and I think you'd have to say that DC's at least making an effort to live up to this pledge from a few years back.

  21. Anonymous2:40 PM

    God I hate that man!!

  22. For the call of Quesada, well he probably contradicts himself too but an important difference - like it or not his stuff is getting results. Dan's just keeps landing flat over and over and over and over and over.

    By every measurement that matters ($$$, not online fans) Quesada' decisions are trumping DiDio's. Quesada is clearly doing something right as Marvel went from being behind to completely dominating DC not only in monthlies but trades and doing it for years now. That isn't luck, that isn't an accident, that is consistently making the choices that lead to sales that drive a business.

    You can hate what was done to the X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man or whatever your hate of the moment is but the sales simply validate Quesada's choices and don't validate DiDio's.